(Trigger warning: automotive abuse)

So, the media days for the Chicago Auto Show have two very distinct days. Day 1 is “Traditional Media” day, where business attire is expected. In fact, for the luncheon they have on the first day if you’re not in business dress you’re not getting in. Most of the reveals have a nice press kit, there’s quality snacks and beverages available at different booths, it’s very nice. There’s a certain atmosphere in the show because everyone there is working professionals. Well... almost everyone.

Seriously, I don’t know why this guy was walking around in business attire with a Chewbacca mask and an inflatable R2-D2.

Day 2 is “Social Media” day, and all the rules go out the window. The average dress code becomes “screen-printed T-shirt and the jeans I work on the car with”, cars that were accessible yesterday are fenced off to keep people out, shift knobs have been removed, people are bringing their kids, and there’s an air of chaos in the air. It feels like a public day, except a couple of booths have snacks and everyone has a name badge.

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On Day 1, Dogapult and I got to the “Supercar Pavilion” a couple minutes after it closed. We were told that tomorrow we’d be able to sit in some vehicles, some were locked, and that the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport Vitensse in the corner would able to be opened to photograph the interior, but you would not be able to sit in it. It’s the same Veyron they had last year - dark blue tinted carbon fiber over lighter blue, valued at about $1.5-2.4 million.

Mmmmm, tinted carbon fiber.

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(Warning: Bad stuff starts here.)

When we got to the Supercar Pavilion on Social Media day, there was a group of grubby 12 year olds all over the Lambo Huracan spyder, leaving grubby handprints on the door glass and taking selfies inside it.

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After they left it and I was able to take my picture of it, they made a bee-line to the Veyron. Dogapult and I took a few pictures of the Lotuses (Lotusi?) they had before getting over to the Veyron.

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Now, when I got to the Veyron, my heart plummeted. Despite what I was told yesterday, the attendant next to the Veyron was letting these kids inside the Veyron. Grubby handprints on the carbon-fiber and the glass, and I saw one of them step on the seat.

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Your kids have no place at the media days of an auto show. I don’t care how much time they spend on Facebook, they’re not Social Media. Just because they help you with the theme for your blog, they’re not Social Media. If you want to bring your kids, that’s what the public days are for. Don’t let them run around unsupervised trashing cars worth more than the average lifetime earnings of a US citizen.

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Thank you.